For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

National Gallery Sculpture Garden

What to you do after an all day, indoor workshop where you sit for one-long session after another?  Walk, and then walk some more.  And keep going for two hours and 3.65 miles.

We were released from our workshop at 5:00 this evening.  I was surprised to walk out of the basement auditorium and find daylight.  A colleague had mentioned walking through an outdoor sculpture garden by a skating rink last night, and I mentally filed that away.  I walked back to the hotel with a group of coworkers and instead of going in, I decided to take a little walk. turned out to be not so little.  In a race against the fading light of sunset, I walked/ walked with really long strides and even ran a bit from H Street and 17th Street.  I went past the Executive Office Building where my view of the Washington Monument gave me pause (love the sun reflection on one side of the monument and shadow on the other and the pink light at the horizon),

past the White House and around the Ellipse (where I took the requisite tourist picture)

and continued east on Constitution Ave until I got to 9th Street.  I hooked a right on 9th and walked another block south until I found the sculpture garden.  By this time, there was very little light in the sky and I had a moment of disappointment where I thought I wouldn't be able to see anything.  But not to worry, I enjoyed the way the car lights and spot lights shone on the pieces.  In the darkness, I'm sure that there were pieces that I missed.  But I had fun with those that I did see.

First up was this:

followed by "Personnage Gothique, Oiseau-Eclair" JoanMiro (I opened up the lens, so this look lighter than it really was and I didn't frame it right and I cut off the bird at the top.  Oops.)

and the "Thinker on a Rock" which reminded me of the children's stories Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Do You Know How Much I Love You?

There were other abstract steel shaped pieces.

And then this gorgeous "Cheval Rouge" by Alexander Calder.  The night sky by this time was deep blue and the redness really stood out.  It doesn't look that way in my pictures, but the contrast was striking.

As I walked around the Calder, I saw the Capitol in the distance.  Whoa!

With my zoom, there wasn't enough light for me to get a really crisp shot.  I was cold, my hand was trembling a bit and the scaffolding makes it appear even more fuzzy.  But man, was it beautiful!

The skating rink looked like a fun place.  The building in the background is the National Gallery of Art, West Building.

So, mission accomplished.  And then I realized it was dark, and I was standing at 9th and Madison and I was cold and hungry.  I decided to walk up 9th to F street and then go west.  Between 13th and 14th I stopped at District Taco and picked up lime rice and guacamole to augment my baked tofu that I had bought at the market yesterday.  I continued on F until I couldn't go further without running into the Treasury Building.  I headed north on 15th street until H street.  I went west on H and then went into Lafayette Square.  All day, the paths and streets around the White House were blocked off with yellow caution tape.  As I walked into the Square, it looked like people were on Pennsylvania Ave, close to the White House. Sure enough, the tape was down and I got to take a selfie.

After that, straight back to the hotel to phone home and then eat.

Yum!  Did I mention that I passed by the American Institute of Architecture this morning on my way to the Workshop?

Or that I had such a beautiful and delicious breakfast from the comfort of my hotel room?  What a great start and end to my day.

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